Forestry Crew Leader

Candidates who are part operations-oriented (e.g., organize processes, keep track of data and reports, manage facility operations, etc.) and part people and communications-oriented (e.g., cultivate and communicate with our constituents, volunteers, and vendors, etc.) would be an ideal fit. This is a full-time, non-exempt position and requires flexibility with weekend work during planting seasons and other occasional weekends and evenings during the year. This position reports to the Tree Planting Manager.

Must be able to work well independently and on a team to coordinate projects and tree-related events using strong forestry skills, event coordination, and intra-personal communications. Needs to have the ability to take a large picture view of everything going on outside and implement it.

Essential Job Functions

  • Prioritize projects, create weekly schedules. Directly oversee seasonal crews, TreeKeepers, and other volunteers.  Lead work days, workshops, and events; prepare, track, and report all necessary event information.
  • Maintain all trees planted and perform necessary tree care, including re-staking and sometimes replanting, mulching, pruning and watering. Provide accurate records and logs relating to tree planting location and management.
  • Maintain tools and trucks in clean working order. Drive vehicles and operate other motorized equipment incidental to the performance of duties. Monitor tool inventory. Order equipment as needed, and maintain records and receipts
  • Respond to citizen inquiries and maintain working relationships with community groups. Meet with community groups, partner organizations, use virtual inventories and maps to assess sites for future work.
  • Use volunteer management software (CERVIS) to create events, register volunteers, and run reports
  • Accept plant material from nursery under contract and monitor and assure compliance of nursery stock with contractual agreements.
  • Maintain up to date knowledge of urban forestry and arboricultural BMPs
  • Use risk-assessment knowledge and OSHA standards to maintain safe working conditions for crew and volunteers
  • Recruit for and assist with TreeKeepers classes as needed.
  • Use public speaking skills to present programs to Board of Directors, partner organizations, and the public
  • Conduct tree inventories using GIS software, collect information on street trees including caliper, species, and location.
  • Assist with record-keeping and volunteer data analysis, coordinating with other departments as needed
  • Other duties as assigned

Job Requirements and Qualifications

  • ISA certification or ability to acquire within the first year of employment.
  • Ability to identify common Midwest tree species, pests, diseases and environmental factors that affect young trees. Ability to read a map, tree inventory experience, and knows how to prioritize work.
  • Volunteer management experience; Spanish speaking a plus.
  • Bachelor’s degree and/or, a certificate from a horticulture or botanic program containing college‐level courses in addition to experience with at least one year planting and caring for trees.
  • Computer literacy including ability to use programs such as PowerPoint, Word, and Excel.
  • Ability to lift up to 50 pounds occasionally and ability to stand, crouch, and perform various types of manual labor; willing and able to work outdoors all year round.
  • Valid Illinois driver’s license and reliable transportation. This license must be maintained for the duration of employment.
  • Enthusiastic with a positive attitude and strong work ethic.
  • Must be punctual and reliable. Position requires a high level of energy, motivation, creativity, persistence, and a positive attitude.


This is a full time position.  Salary is commensurate with experience.  Benefits include health, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b) retirement plan, paid holidays and vacation time.

To Apply

Interested applicants should send a cover letter including why your skills and experience would complement this position and resume to (no phone calls please).

Openlands is an equal opportunity employer.